New London Country 4-H Club members show off their knowledge
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Jul. 30, 2013
Cassie Wells sat on a low platform in the goat shed at the North Stonington Fair Grounds next to a 4-month-old goat kid named Teenager. Wells, a Lebanon resident, was preparing to show the goat for fellow Great Goats and More 4-H Club member Abigail Smith at this year’s New London County 4H Fair, held July 26 through 28.
Wells acquired her own first goats, Paisley and Delilah, this year. “It’s been a lot of fun so far,” she said. As an early-season event, the 4-H Fair gives club members practice with their animals. Wells said she would probably show later at the Lebanon Country Fair. “This prepares me for what they will act like in the ring with other goats,” she said.
Inside the poultry and small animal shed, Willimantic resident Aloura was trying to choose a rabbit to handle. She was showing several animals in the breeds competition, but needed to choose just the right one for showmanship. “You have to pose the rabbit and carry it to the judge,” she said, demonstrating by turning a dark rabbit on its back to expose its soft, ivory belly. The rabbit lay placidly on its back, indicating that it would probably be a good entry for the competition.
As opposed to breed judging, where the animal is judged by its conformation to breed standards, for showmanship the emphasis is more on the handler. Aloura would be tested for her knowledge of the animal, and her ability to handle it in an effective manner. A compliant bunny was more likely to result in a smooth appearance in the ring. “I think this might be a good one,” said Aloura.